HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Tim Deluxe

You'd be hard pushed to find a Djing career that kicked off with quite so much dynamite as Tim Deluxe's- he filled in for a double booked CJ Mackintosh to warm up for Todd Terry at Ministry of Sound, a man who he openly describes as one of his heroes at the time. And he was still under 18- how's that for jumping in at the proverbial deep end?

After finely tuning his mixing skills at his Saturday-job record shop in London, in 1994 Tim met Omar Amidora and Andy Lysandrou, owner of label Boogie Beat, and the three of them set up his first label, Ice Cream Records, responsible for the pulsing speed garage '97 hit 'RIP Groove'. Tim's subsequent solo career saw the 2002 release of 'It Just Won't Do', a monster of a track that launched itself into the Miami and Ibiza faithful with its Latin grooves, brazenly addictive trumpet loops, and Sam Obernik's gritty, sultry vocals. It became one of the biggest tracks of the year, and after remixing accolades as diverse as Black Grape and Kylie, the success of his first album 'The Little Ginger Club Kid', and a new album in the pipeline, his career was last spotted orbiting one of the small moons of Jupiter. We did find him, however, helping to host the Diesel-U-Music awards at Ageha, where we snatched a few moments with him before his (special birthday) set.

* If you would like to view the video interview...Click here !

> Interview : Matt Cotterill (HigherFrequency)


HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : Well Tim, Hello.

Tim Deluxe : Hello.

HRFQ : Thank you for coming.

Tim : Cool mate.

HRFQ : And Happy Birthday, is it today ?

Tim : Not quite yet, almost, nearly.

HRFQ : Have you had any nice presents yet ?

Tim : Not yet, I haven't had anything.

HRFQ : We'll buy you a beer.

Tim : OK! Kirin!

HRFQ : How many times to Japan now ?

Tim : This is my fifth.

HRFQ : Because there was Electroglide...

Tim : I've done two Electroglides, Fuji Rock, and a club tour, Yellow, Nagoya, Osaka and Sapporo.

HRFQ : What's you feeling about Japan ?

Tim : Yeah, I like Japan, I like it a lot. There is a great vibe here, every time I have been here I have had great gigs and it's like, you know, a great vibe. There are a few places at the moment which are amongst my favorites and they are, here, Eastern Europe and Brazil, and Australia is good as well. It is all good isn't it at the end of the day.

HRFQ : Could you give us your thoughts on the Diesel-U-Music sponsorship ?

Tim : I think more brands should push it, kind of bring new kids through into the music and stuff. You know fashion and music go hand in hand.

Tim Deluxe Interview

HRFQ : Tim, could you tell the Japanese viewers the story, the Ministry Of Sound story, your first DJing thing when you stood in for CJ Mackintosh ?

Tim : Yeah, well, a lot about working in the music industry is about who you know. And that was a struggle, because I was working in a record shop and I had given CJ a tape, and he gave it to Lynn who was his girlfriend at the time and she was promoter for Ministry and she gave me a date for the bar, but I don't know it was in about six months time, or whatever, anyway it was coming up but it was a while off. And one day I was in the shop one Saturday afternoon, and I get a phone call, and she was like, "what are you doing tonight?" and I was like, "What's going on here... er.... I don't know.....nothing.....watching 'Match of the Day' " and she said, "do you want to warm up for Todd Terry ?" I was like, " you what!?". She said, "yeah in the main room, CJ is double booked, he is up north he is going to play 'Laser', do you want to do that slot ?" I was like, "yeah....". So I got to play, I got Ministry of Sound, before one of my heroes at that time.

HRFQ : And it worked out well, it was a good night ?

Tim : It did. I rocked it. I was better than him ! ha ha!

HRFQ : ha ha!

Tim : [ironically] Come on mate!

HRFQ : We know that we know that! It is a wide subject, but you know, inspirations, what DJ's did you listen to ?

Tim : [Todd Terry] Back then, he was a God, Todd the God. Todd Terry, Masters at Work, Roger Sanchez, most of the Americans, Francois K. Not as far back as Larry Levan, I didn't get to hear him at all. Er....Tony Humphries, yeah Tenaglia, you know all the usual suspects. But now my favorite DJ is Dave Clarke, so it has changed a bit. But I like anyone who has passion and who is out there. When you get older your music changes, when I was a kid I was into what was on the radio, back home in Ireland and stuff. So at that time it was 'The Bangles', 'Culture Club', 'ZZ Top' and whatever else was in the charts.

HRFQ : A good year for music that. [ironically]

Tim : Yeah it was it was, top, enjoyed that one.

HRFQ : I remember it well.

Tim : Yeah, 'Walk Like an Egyptian' ha ha! But you know I don't listen to that stuff anymore and I don't listen to the more soulful stuff that I was inspired by, like Masters at Work, I still appreciate it but I don't really play it. Things move on. I'll probably be listening to 'folk' in about ten years along the line. But that's life innit, things change.

Tim Deluxe Interview

HRFQ : It does, and a lot of things come through and we were keen to know how much time you spend listening to the new things that are coming through ?

Tim : Quite a bit actually. I get sent a good bit of music, also I am finding now to be honest the best records aren't being sent to me I am having to go out and buy them. Which I think is brilliant and I think it is the same for a lot of DJ's at the moment. There is all this music - I was just telling somebody earlier - all the best music is coming out of Europe now, Germany especially, I think the Germans have saved House music, and fair play to them. It goes through phases I was listening to RNS and they are Belgian and stuff, and Kraftwerk had their time and the electronic stuff and then America, it was all about the Americans, and now it is all about the Germans at the moment, because they are just producing some amazing music, T Schwartz and Steve Bug, Alter Ego, I like that label with Booka Shade and DJ T, I like DJ T 'Rising' , that's a brilliant record at the moment on 'Get Physical'. But you know I am having to go out and find these records and a lot of DJ's are as well, which I think is a good thing. The ethos has gone back to those early house days where it has gone very underground, it is not about crossover records. It is about the right vibes and the right energy for the scene, so hopefully it will be a good thing.

HRFQ : Is it mostly record shops or do you use a lot of the internet for MP3 stuff ?

Tim : Both. I mix and match. I am a fan of downloading, I embrace it. So yeah, bring it on. But as well, there is nothing like going down the record shop on a Saturday afternoon going " aahhh check that out this is mint!" Coming home and going "listen to that" it's brilliant. That's what it is all about and I think that disappeared from the scene a lot, especially in England, because of the money that got involved in it, you know what I mean and that. You'd be making music and trying to sign it. You know it got to a point in England where people weren't even concentrating on what they were trying to say with their music or be an artist at all, it was all, 'let's just try and make a hit club tune and maybe we will cash in and maybe get a hundred grand'. Well you know, that is alright for you, but what is it going to do in the long run, for the longevity [of the scene] and I now I think it went that way so far - crossover - that it has had to go back to basics.

HRFQ : You've done work in Ibiza, obviously a lot of things there, and I think you are playing this year...

Tim : Yeah I am going in September.

Tim Deluxe Interview

HRFQ : Can you tell us what it means to you and where you see it going ?

Tim : At the moment I am not too fussed about Ibiza, to be brutally honest, I have had some great times in Ibiza but this year it is not about that for me. Ibiza needs a reality check. They think they are still on cloud nine. Drink prices are ridiculous. Entrance prices to clubs are ridiculous. And then when you get inside the service is piss poor. So I think people need some kind of reality check of there, otherwise it is going to bleed it dry. I am going over there because I have never played Space, and I am going to play Space this year and I am doing Pascha with Darren [Emerson], one show and one show at Amnesia, that's it, three shows. I was there nine times last year and the year before seven or eight. I have cut right down. You know Brazil, Japan the energy, the love, the vibe, the mentality is better elsewhere for me. Other DJ's would disagree but that is my personal opinion.

HRFQ : Tim, could you talk about any projects you are working on now, anything with AT Records ?

Tim : Yeah I set up my own label, we got the first release which is out now and another one shortly coming and then the album will drop. We are just recording that at the moment. It has got a bit more of a 'bandy' sound so I am kind of not sure what to do about that, but that is the way it is, you know, I am just doing what I feel. I need to finish the record first and then it will be ready to drop next year. I will try and get that out and see what happens.

HRFQ : We are looking forward to the set obviously tonight, any sneak previews ?

Tim : I don't know what to say, I don't know, I have got loads of new material and some old stuff and some classics, d'yer know what I mean. I just want to get on and see what the vibe is with the crowd and see 'what's what and who's who' and just take it from there, it is a bit of a long set tonight so I don't have to come on and say 'OK let's have it', straight away I think there is room to come on and feel, and see where BT leaves it. Whether he leaves at 250bpm or whatever.

HRFQ : Yeah you'll have your work cut out! OK, just one last quick message, if you wouldn't mind a quick glance into there [the camera] and a quick message for your Japanese fans.

Tim : Ahh !? [looks exasperated] No, only joking! Thank you back in Japan, thanks for your support, it is my birthday, hopefully we are going to have a good night tonight so hopefully if you're not around this time and you didn't make it down to Ageha, then hopefully we will see you soon and keep on the look out for some new music, and all that boring rubbish.

HRFQ : Thanks very much for your time, it has been great talking to you, and we wish the very best for the future.

Tim : Yeah, fingers crossed.

HRFQ : Good look in Ibiza with all the other projects and the over-priced beers, I guess it is cheaper here!

Tim : Thanks!

End of the interview

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